Objective: Home-based non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) has been suggested as an adjunct treatment strategy for neuro-psychiatric disorders. There are currently no available solutions to direct and monitor correct placement of the stimulation electrodes. To address this issue, we propose an easy-to-use digital tool to support patients for self-application. Methods: We recruited 36 healthy participants and compared their cap placement performance with the one of a NIBS-expert investigator. We tested participants’ placement accuracy with instructions before (Pre) and after the investigator's placement (Post), as well as participants using the support tool (CURRENT). User experience (UX) and confidence were further evaluated. Results: Permutation tests demonstrated a smaller deviation within the CURRENT compared with Pre cap placement (p = 0.02). Subjective evaluation of ease of use and usefulness of the tool were vastly positive (8.04 out of 10). CURRENT decreased the variability of performance, ensured placement within the suggested maximum of deviation (10 mm) and supported confidence of correct placement. Conclusions: This study supports the usability of this novel technology for correct electrode placement during self-application in home-based settings. Significance: CURRENT provides an exciting opportunity to promote home-based, self-applied NIBS as a safe, high-frequency treatment strategy that can be well integrated in patients’ daily lives.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We acknowledge access to the facilities and expertise of the MRI facility of the Human Neuroscience Platform (HNP) of the Foundation Campus Biotech Geneva supported by the University of Geneva, Geneva University Hospitals and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). We further thank Sylvain Harquel for his input regarding the statistical analysis of the data.
This work was supported by ERA-NET NEURON (The DiSCoVer project). The NEURON ‘Network of European Funding for Neuroscience Research is established under the organization of the ERA-NET ‘European Research Area Networks’ of the European Commission. National funding agencies are the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung [BMBF] ) for LMU Munich, the Ministry of Health (MOH) for HUJI and Hadassah, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) for UNIGE and EPFL and the State Education and Development Agency (VIAA) of Latvia for RSU; the Defitech Foundation (Morges, Switzerland) and by the Bertarelli Foundation (Catalyste Program, Gstaad, Switzerland).
- Computer vision
- Electrode localization algorithm
- Home-based non-invasive brain stimulation
- Real-time feedback